Skip directly to content
  • David Byrne

Latest Release

News

  • December 11, 2018

    "The American Utopia tour may just be the best live show of all time." That's what NME said of David Byrne's American Utopia tour. And as the ten-month, 144-date tour wraps up comes a new EP entitled "…The Best Live Show of All Time"—NME featuring six songs recorded live on tour at Brooklyn's Kings Theatre. The EP is available on CD and in specially priced bundles with the album on CD or LP exclusively from the Nonesuch Store. The new American Utopia (Deluxe Edition)—the complete album plus the six live songs from the EP—is also available now via all streaming and download services.

  • December 7, 2018

    Congratulations to all of the Nonesuch nominees for the 61st Annual Grammy Awards: David Byrne for American Utopia; Brad Mehldau and his Trio for Seymour Reads the Constitution!; Joshua Redman, Brian Blade, Scott Colley, and Ron Miles for Still Dreaming; Punch Brothers for All Ashore; John Adams for Doctor Atomic; Laurie Anderson and Kronos Quartet for Landfall; and Judith Sherman, up for Producer of the Year, Classical, for her work including Steve Reich's Pulse / Quartet.

Photos

Videos

About David Byrne

  • I was born in Dumbarton, Scotland. It was what was called a breech birth … which often means butt first … which was probably exceedingly difficult for my mother and may have been indicative of a bad attitude on my part. I was there, but I don’t remember.

    My parents had what was called a mixed marriage, which made life difficult. And there was little work in Scotland in those years. We moved to Canada on a boat, the QE2, when I was very young and after some years in Hamilton, the family moved to Baltimore, where I had my primary and secondary education. I loved art class and was asked to leave the school choir. I played guitar in a band with some friends; I think Ricky Brewster was the singer. At a high school battle of the bands, a rival band pulled the plug on us. We lost the contest.

    I wanted to be able to study both art and engineering—as I saw creativity in both areas—but that didn’t seem possible, so I went to art school in Baltimore and Rhode Island. There I encountered people with backgrounds very different than mine. Very different class, cultural, and economic backgrounds. This was all new and hard to understand at first. I made music at the same time I was at art school, but not having training, I never considered it as a career. For a while I wore old suits and had a beard—local children in Baltimore asked if I was “one of those people who didn’t ride in cars.” I hitchhiked around the U.S., stayed on a commune and busked for money … but eventually I came back East, discovered I could write songs, and with some friends we played at art school events and parties. I moved to NY with some wild art-related ideas—one was a sort of rating system for the arts influenced by the books on cybernetics and systems theory that I was reading. I reconnected with my friends and we auditioned at a local club playing our own songs. A handful of people liked us, and so we stuck to it and surprisingly soon we were playing our music all over the world. I still do this from time to time, it’s hugely enjoyable. I have been lucky to be able to do these things.

    Though music took up much of my time for many years, I eventually went back to re-engage with the visual side of things—directing some films and making picture books, art, and installations. I lived in L.A. for a while but now spend most of my time in NY. I began riding a bicycle as a way of getting around, and I wrote a book using those experiences as a way to talk about the things I saw. I made some custom bike racks for NY, for BAM, and for Stanford University. We need places to lock up.

    I then wrote a book about music, or rather the contexts that shape and affect music.

    I love working with other people. Though there are sometimes forks in the road, for the most part the convoluted path is worth it as together collaborators often end up somewhere neither expected. I wrote two musicals about powerful women—Imelda Marcos and Joan of Arc. When it works, a song can express a character’s inner feelings in ways that go beyond words. Songs help us understand things in a different way. There have been collaborations with Robert Wilson, Twyla Tharp, St. Vincent, Fatboy Slim, De La Soul, and Brian Eno. Recently I conceived and presented a show that brought together ten musical acts and ten colorguard teams.

    Now I’ve made a record that just has my name on it but is also the result of the contributions of many other people. I suspect that like me it is asking what are we like, what do we want, and what are we looking for.

    —David Byrne

David Byrne

Tour

nonesuch's picture
on May 29, 2008 - 7:06pm
Sort Name: 
Byrne
Biography (Excerpt): 

David Byrne's album American Utopia morphed during the writing and recording process, beginning with Brian Eno and growing to include collaboration with producer Rodaidh McDonald and contributors Daniel Lopatin (aka Oneohtrix Point Never), Jam City, Thomas Bartlett (aka Doveman), Jack Peñate, and others.

Biography: 

I was born in Dumbarton, Scotland. It was what was called a breech birth … which often means butt first … which was probably exceedingly difficult for my mother and may have been indicative of a bad attitude on my part. I was there, but I don’t remember.

My parents had what was called a mixed marriage, which made life difficult. And there was little work in Scotland in those years. We moved to Canada on a boat, the QE2, when I was very young and after some years in Hamilton, the family moved to Baltimore, where I had my primary and secondary education. I loved art class and was asked to leave the school choir. I played guitar in a band with some friends; I think Ricky Brewster was the singer. At a high school battle of the bands, a rival band pulled the plug on us. We lost the contest.

I wanted to be able to study both art and engineering—as I saw creativity in both areas—but that didn’t seem possible, so I went to art school in Baltimore and Rhode Island. There I encountered people with backgrounds very different than mine. Very different class, cultural, and economic backgrounds. This was all new and hard to understand at first. I made music at the same time I was at art school, but not having training, I never considered it as a career. For a while I wore old suits and had a beard—local children in Baltimore asked if I was “one of those people who didn’t ride in cars.” I hitchhiked around the U.S., stayed on a commune and busked for money … but eventually I came back East, discovered I could write songs, and with some friends we played at art school events and parties. I moved to NY with some wild art-related ideas—one was a sort of rating system for the arts influenced by the books on cybernetics and systems theory that I was reading. I reconnected with my friends and we auditioned at a local club playing our own songs. A handful of people liked us, and so we stuck to it and surprisingly soon we were playing our music all over the world. I still do this from time to time, it’s hugely enjoyable. I have been lucky to be able to do these things.

Though music took up much of my time for many years, I eventually went back to re-engage with the visual side of things—directing some films and making picture books, art, and installations. I lived in L.A. for a while but now spend most of my time in NY. I began riding a bicycle as a way of getting around, and I wrote a book using those experiences as a way to talk about the things I saw. I made some custom bike racks for NY, for BAM, and for Stanford University. We need places to lock up.

I then wrote a book about music, or rather the contexts that shape and affect music.

I love working with other people. Though there are sometimes forks in the road, for the most part the convoluted path is worth it as together collaborators often end up somewhere neither expected. I wrote two musicals about powerful women—Imelda Marcos and Joan of Arc. When it works, a song can express a character’s inner feelings in ways that go beyond words. Songs help us understand things in a different way. There have been collaborations with Robert Wilson, Twyla Tharp, St. Vincent, Fatboy Slim, De La Soul, and Brian Eno. Recently I conceived and presented a show that brought together ten musical acts and ten colorguard teams.

Now I’ve made a record that just has my name on it but is also the result of the contributions of many other people. I suspect that like me it is asking what are we like, what do we want, and what are we looking for.

—David Byrne

Weight: 
10
Active Artist: 
No
Facebook URL: 
https://www.facebook.com/DBtodomundo/
Twitter URL: 
https://twitter.com/dbtodomundo
Instagram URL: 
https://www.instagram.com/davidbyrneofficial/
Artist Header Image: 
Artist Card Image: 
Artist Spotlight Image: 
Youtube URL: 
https://www.youtube.com/davidbyrneofficial

Tour

[{"parent":{"title":"Get on the list !","body":" Get exclusive information about NONESUCH tour dates, video premieres and special announcements ","field_newsletter_id":"14075483","field_label_list_id":"6389157","field_display_rates":"-1","field_preview_mode":"false","field_lbox_height":"","field_lbox_width":"","field_toaster_timeout":"16000","field_toaster_position":"From Bottom","field_turnkey_height":"800"}}]

Performs On